Lena (Kendell) and Bill Schutz were both born and raised on east-central Saskatchewan farms, children of German-speaking immigrant families from war ravaged eastern Europe who had immigrated to Western Canada in the late 1800s. Bill was a country schoolteacher in the local area after attending Normal School in Saskatoon, receiving his teacher’s certificate in 1935. Following their marriage in 1943, they moved to a farm they had purchased in the rural district of Rothbury, north of Churchbridge. When Bill retired from teaching in 1949 and in the same year was elected as the area delegate to Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, farming became their main livelihood for more than 40 years. Lena, like many farm wives at the time, was busy with her home while raising two sons, and accomplishing more than her share of the work in the fields. In addition to being actively involved in the community and serving on the executive of the local church women’s group, her interests included a love of music from a young age.
As their farm operations grew, Bill continued with Saskatchewan Wheat Pool until his retirement in 1980, serving the final eight years on the Board of Directors. His public service also included chairman of the local school board, director of the Churchbridge Co-operative Association, and in several capacities on their local church councils.
Elder son Dennis and his family took over the expanding farm business, which allowed Lena and Bill some time for travel and relaxation in their retirement years.
They enjoyed living in their condominium in Yorkton; however, failing health for both of them required a relocation in 2008 to the Langenburg Centennial Special Care Home, where they resided until their deaths – Lena in 2011 and Bill in 2012.
To know and be grateful that they were blessed to live long and active lives was extremely important to them. As a special request to her surviving family, Lena asked that a donation be made to an organization that carries out programs of benefit to seniors (or anyone else for that matter) who may be having problems with loss of vision. Since this was such a debilitating issue for them both throughout their later years, she wanted to ensure that some assistance would be made available to others in Saskatchewan coping with similar disabilities.
The Schutz family decided to invest the “seed money” with Saskatoon Community Foundation in 2012, to establish the Caroline and William Schutz endowment fund. The initial contribution is expected to grow and perpetually support those in need, as a continuing testament of their commitment to others.
Having realized this initial goal, commencing in 2020, annual grants from the fund will benefit local projects in the Churchbridge-Langenburg area, which will be dispersed by Family and Friends Community Foundation.
If you would like to support this legacy fund, a donation can be made below.